DeWALT 20V Lightweight Cordless Drills Review

Along with their series of 18V cordless drills, DEWALT also offers 20V drill/drivers designed to bridge the gap between light, entry-level models and high-performance models. I reviewed two of their 18V drills, so I decided to check out one of their 20V drills as well, the DEWALT DCD780C2. From the looks of it, and the online user reviews, it appears to hit the sweet spot between performance and ease of use. Let’s see if I am right.

DEWALT DCD780C2Check Price

The Incredible Lightness of Being

The DCD780C2 is very light. It weighs just 3.4 pounds, and that’s including the 1.5Ah, 20V battery. The reason this cordless drill is so light is because DEWALT stripped away all the stuff that wasn’t essential, and through the generous use of plastic. In fact, just about everything on the DCD780C2, other than the gearbox and the ratcheting 1/2″ chuck, is made from lightweight plastic.

Some rubber is used as well, in the form of bumpers which protect the drill. The small weight means easy operation and less fatigue. While plastic is light, it’s also a lot less durable than metal, which means this is not a heavy-duty drill. Sure, it still steps into heavy-duty territory populated by its metal cousins thanks to its performance, but it will experience more wear and tear by doing so.

Two Speeds and LED Light

I like that the DCD780C2 allows you to choose between two different speed settings: the slower one which allows for 0 to 600 rpm, and the faster one which allows for 0 to 2,000 rpm. In terms of motor speed, it sits somewhere in the middle. As is pretty much standard on cordless drills, you can adjust the speed within the chosen speed range by applying more or less pressure on the trigger. The DCD780C2 also comes equipped with an LED work light which works for 20 seconds after you press the trigger. Unfortunately, the light is positioned above the trigger, which means the chuck does cast a shadow on the impact point.

15 Clutch Settings

The clutch on the DCD780C2 has 15 settings, but all of them have a purpose, so you can find the appropriate setting for nearly any application. You will also like the automatic motor protection, which comes standard. This means that in the event the motor draws too much power, the drill will shut down to protect itself from malfunctioning. Trust me, I have burned out my share of cordless drills by pushing them out of their intended range, so this feature can save you a lot of money in the long run.


The grip on the DCD780C2 feels like a scaled up version of the smaller pistol-grip found on the DEWALT’s MAX line of 12V cordless drills, which is just about the best grip around. Combined with small weight and standard 1.5Ah batteries, the DCD780C2 is a well-balanced, lightweight tool you will be able to use continuously without getting tired.

Extra Features

The DCD780C2 comes with a belt hook and a bit holder which DEWALT has designed to be removable and usable on either side of the drill. While the belt hook is very secure and holds the tool upside down, the bit holder holds a single additional bit. The standard DCD780C2 kit comes with two 1.5Ah 20V Li-Ion batteries and a fast charger which can charge one battery in as little as 30 minutes. You can also get the optional 3.0Ah 20V batteries if you want to squeeze every last bit of power out of the DCD780C2, but I would advise against it. Those optional batteries are heavier, which alters the balance of the drill. When used with the standard batteries, the DCD780 is incredibly easy to use.

The Verdict

The DCD780C2 sits at the beginning of the range of DEWALT’s series of 20V cordless drills. As I mentioned in the intro, they have stripped away everything that is not absolutely necessary in order to keep it lightweight but powerful, and that it is. The DCD780C2 is capable of handling any kind of light-duty project as well as medium-scale projects. You can use this drill for heavy-duty tasks, as it is powerful enough, but seeing as it’s made almost entirely of plastic, its life span will shorten significantly if you do so. Plastic is just not as durable as metal.
When you purchase the DCD780C2 kit, you get the drill, two 20V batteries, a fast charger, and a hard carrying case. I liked it a lot.